Method for the measurement of phase retardation of any wave plate with high precision

ArticleinApplied Optics 47(30):5562-9 · November 2008with30 Reads
Impact Factor: 1.78 · DOI: 10.1364/AO.47.005562 · Source: PubMed


    We present a measuring method for any wave plate retardation with fairly high precision that utilizes a laser frequency splitting technique. To avoid strong mode competition in measuring half and full wave plates, we use two separate methods: comparing adjacent longitudinal mode spacing, and phase offset with an additional quarter wave plate. Therefore any wave plate can be characterized by a single instrument, and no complicated experimental arrangement or data analysis is required. The performance of the system is demonstrated by determining the phase retardation of several samples to a precision and repeatability better than lambda/10(4); moreover, an error analysis is proposed.